Sunday, June 15, 2014

A 'perfect' Father's Day

"It's a perfect day. The Indians won."

My dad used to say that whenever anyone asked him how he was, and when it happened to be one of the approximate 80 times a year when the Cleveland Indians shined bright like a diamond. I realize, mathematically, that approximately 22 percent of my dad's days were perfect.

Today, the Tribe did win in extra innings against Boston, and the girls and I tore it up on Father's Day. We actually blew it out this entire weekend (their first without school!). Sophie had her first round with the Long Beach Golf Academy on Friday night and had a blast with her peers, then we had a rip-roaring birthday party for Chloe on Saturday. Today, we went to both a water park and played nine holes on a par-3 course. Winning!

My goal with the girls and golf is to play every Father's Day for the next 40 years. I would like us to take a picture every year and see how we progress. The interesting thing about the above picture is that I said we should each hold our favorite clubs. Sophie chose driver. Chloe had her 7-iron, and I grabbed my putter. ... We would be perfect in a scramble.

I shot lights out with the girls at Heartwell Golf Course, where the average length of a hole is 125 yards. I only had two bad shots. I missed a 3-foot putt on the first hole and had a bad chip on another hole for my only bogeys of the day. I birdied one hole to finish with a 1-over 28. Unfortunately, the par-3 course is extremely short and plays into my strengths, but I still am bragging about my score.

I expect Father's Day to always bring up various emotions because my dad is no longer here. For God's sakes, I am living for him. I am trying to do everything I can to be the best dad I can be. Indeed, life is short, and I'm trying to have as much fun with my girls as he had with me and my family.

The one thing that I am taking to the next level is my parenting, which is evolving. My big push now is to give the girls appropriate independence, even though that is difficult for me because I only have them 50 percent of the time. My gut says I should smother them, but I'm pretty sure that's not the best plan.

Recently, I have presented the girls with various "adventures" that they have loved and gained some sort of "ain't nothin' gonna break-a my stride" feelings. The big one they like to do nowadays is to take their bikes or scooters to the corner store and purchase Gatorades and/or Vitamin Water.
Man, I love my girls, and they love me back. It is quite fulfilling to watch them becoming fierce. I love in the way I do, like my dad did, and like his dad, Coach Stevens, did. We play a lot of games. We compete. We love each other.

"You can't raise (girls) to be scared of life," Royal Tenenbaum said. "You got to brew some recklessness into them."

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